• Kyodo

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Sales of existing homes, both condominiums and single-family houses, rose to record highs in 2013 in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures on the back of the economic rebound, a real estate information firm said Saturday.

The number of used condominiums sold in Tokyo and Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures jumped 16.0 percent from the year before to 36,432, the most since the Real Estate Information Network for East Japan began collecting data in 1990.

Sales of existing single-family homes in the area rose 6.9 percent to 12,245, also a record.

“Consumer resistance to used houses is becoming less” as remodeling has grown popular, an official of the company said, adding the uptrend is expected to survive the consumption tax hike in April, thanks to housing loan tax breaks.

The growth in existing home sales is also credited to the rising cost of new condominiums. Data at the Real Estate Economic Institute show the average price of new condominiums in the Tokyo area rose 18.2 percent in December from a year earlier, due largely to rising wages for construction workers and higher costs for materials.

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